Friday, 10 April 2015

Appa Bandopadhyay's story WHY DOES IT DRY UP ( Translation of 'Shukiye Jai Keno' )

Now this 9th September my head got wounded, what shall I call it ? Accident, danger, or I did not hold the handle properly ? Somewhat funky funky it seems. At that time I was brooding about my being a poet, a poet. Moreover gossips of those three idiot boys, in my mind an ego spewed up, my poetry, some such happening. I held my hair in right fist, like a poet tread a long step, in compartments two doors, I walked to the right. Since those buggers were chirping I thought of doing something, something should be done, I was not at peace with myself, thinking that I was not at peace with myself, put my foot on the first step and spread by breast to the breeze after standing legs apart, holding the handle. Was feeling pain in wrists of two hands. They were still busy in gossips. How Tarun, of all persons, became chummy with those two idiots. Inquired  pointedly, are you going to the same girl at Park Circus ? Bastard, your intelligence has opened up. Quite pickled, aren't you ! But you keep on rubbing your hands without a drop. For three years I am trying to convince you, tell your Dad, otherwise you would be in trouble, your pickle may dry up, I've heard. When the time comes you won't be able to ejaculate. Let funeral etc go to dogs, otherwise you will get a spat from your wife. Just laughs like a pimp-- will not marry at all. No, why should he marry ? Will rather keep in the trap. Disgusting. I had to convince cajole put fear in him to take him to his step father.

There is no fun to intimidate. Always crumpled. While studying pre-University, tried to explain-- his brother in law had fist fights with ghosts. Not one ghost was hurt. All slaps fell on the mosquito net. It sat on his chest after knocking him down. For about a month used to bring a pot at eight, from bringing magic water from Rabi Kundu. Rabi tailor is similarly crooked. Never allowed him to leave before ten or half past ten at night. I used to return through dark garden quite creepily. Deliberately I took him through short cut path of the garden-- and if you masturbate at this time no semen will come out-- this will prove to be bad in future, I used to tell him like a bosom friend. At night falls flat in fear. During day no utterance. As usual during daytime.

Tarun's Dad looked in a way a small time policeman stares at an ordinary thief. How come this ugly man is looking at his own face while shaving his chin. Black arse. Tall, face and eyes are so ugly they could not be described. Small hair from above ear looks like jute field. Erect nose is at a distance from hanging upper lip. Black caterpillar brows make eyes haphazard. Plowed face has stuck skin on face bones. What the hell. We are waiting for long in front of him but he does not look at us once. I am restless---Tarun has made his place behind the chair. Now he is arranging his things--dettol bottle, soap foam. Putting the blade inside box.
---Why are you standing there ? Go and sit in the room.
---No uncle. I had to discuss something with you.
---What do you want to say ?
---I wanted to talk about---Tarun's---well...

Looking at his face like a fool I could not decide how to start. These things can not be discussed directly. Bloody unnecessary problems. I talk to my self---what was your role---now face the music. Tarun, standing like wood, is playing with his palms. As if has never played such a happy game. Why don't you tell---you are not able to ejaculate. Dad, dole out some money, doctor has to be consulted. Tarun's sister, on way out from kitchen, waits in doubt. She is smiling mysteriously at our predicament, with her hand at the back of the chair. Why are you waiting here ? Go. I felt light after a chance to talk. Now I have to blurt out something. I mean...his natural juice from body ejaculates once in two three months. Other than nature's course, when tried artificially, nothing comes out. It may turn into powder in due course in his testicles. I have heard it happens. At this age of nineteen if things are...

Tarun becomes nervous at my explanation. Try to bring to his face a shade of shame and fear. I am also excited. I could present the case quite properly---natural juice etc.
---Why try artificially ? I feel scared at his voice. But suppressing my fear I say---in natural course it takes so long that it is a matter of dread.
---I do not find it dreadful.
---Uncle, would it not be proper to consult a doctor ?
---It is no problem at all. It will work at the proper time.
---It will work at proper time ? Like a fool I childishly blurted out and then warning myself I talk to silently, will it work at proper time ? Will it, for sure ?
---You know, we go through erasing our semen continuously. We may not know about it---gets out with urine or in other ways such as through nose in the form of phlegm or from mouth with cough--- there is nothing to worry about. 
---We are very much scared after he talked about it.
---It is quite natural to get scared at your age. Facing Tarun he says--- you can do one thing---go to Mr Bimal---in such matters best is homeopath.

My face suddenly takes the form of a donkey, long and misfit like Indra's Gandharva. Why this man's copulating fluid never stops ? In that case Tarun would not have suffered. 

His face looks punctured, has he not seen, his indifferent children Khenti, Kelly, Chhemri, Keka, dressed in khaki half pant, squatted in front of enamel erased plates, tumbling over like potato ? Did he not see the toilet  in a tiny room surrounded by tall dried grass, chest high sacred plant in public space ? Has this man never flied pigeons ? Or has he not chirped like us on  architectural theatre stage steps ? You are doing injustice to my friend. For this I will spoil your daughter's marriage. I will not allow Chhipu to get married. ( In that case shall I saver her by marrying her ?-- No why should you die marrying her ? What is the meaning of a twelve year old girl's love ? ) If Chhipu is not married then nothing is going to happen to this old haggard. He will sit on Tarun's shoulder and have his drink and food and then vomit. After him there are four more lassy sissy. Oh ! I can not harm any one, other than myself. Even if I have proof I will not be able to convince the groom party--- his Dad's name should have been Jogipada Kundu instead of Sadhucharan Khastagir. This man Sadhucharan, at the time of partition, came in tatters with a four year old daughter, and was being transferred from one police post to another, which had cropped up along the border. And eating crabs in hotels. Luckily got a wife who had fled from her husband. Would have got another daughter, but thought that for a seven year girl it is better to stay with her maternal uncles. Got a three year old son named Tarun . Tarun could not claim like his sister, 'my Dad is fair complexioned'. Tarun's step sister was not that easy sissy. Recently got married to reduce complications. This guy Sadhucharan, apart from those three problematic children has sired with his own power Khenti, Kelly, Chhemri and Keka. Their Dad was never married. It is a historical truth.

Being disgusted with myself I tried to get up in anger. I leave Tarun at his Dad's pad. And walk the whole journey back singing choral--- Vidyasagar's progeny's name is Naran Pit. Vidhyasagar's son's name is Naran Pit.

For bringing medicines I sat behind on his cycle carrier. Bloody Idiot, may your testicles bear the pressure of double carry. Let them become sweetmeat balls. I always sat back. Never pydled myself. Though I know nothing harmful happens cycling. I am giving him chances to develop his thigh muscles. I did not hold even the tiny vial of globules. During cycling regularly talks about his half-Dad. I tell him-- I am also not loved by anyone. Mother just throws bread on my plate. When I was in mud-room, like entering in a cow dung cake bag, severe winter, several nights were spent in wet courtyard. Sometimes during night if she felt like, she used to call, come come like a dog, to throw four breads on my plate, and slept in a chipped plank door room. I have never kicked at that brittle door and said-- take me into the room--- I shall never do anything wicked---why should I sleep inside a cowdung cake bag, cowdung pasted, salty, mud portico ? Such sleepy type fool I had been. He is your own Dad. You get financial help from him just because you carry his surname. Your mother condemns you because the person who keeps you and your mother, certain revenge is taken. And look at my case --- my own mother--though she occasionally tells me-- when fleeing from Pakistan hiding in one after another bush, my own mother left me on a riverbed wrapped in cheap clothes. I was crying like a crow ; at that time you know, mother, was feeding brother pounded rice and date-palm jagary hiding in bushes  while fleeing. Hearing my cry they thought a baby vulture was crying. What an absurd event-- mid night. In half moonlight mother peeped from the bush and saw on bright seabed a pair of human baby legs dancing and crying. May be my mother had fled after being chased by border police. Or might have been kidnapped into police camp. From that time onwards I am mother's son. And our elder brother's sweat money. Eroded with continuous hunger. Every night at the time of studying I stoop in drowsiness. I feel tired after whole day loitering. Thumb print for relief---begging for loan here and there--walk for two miles to get wheat crushed---in school Nani teacher would spank after taking me on his lap---in the evening while playing hide and seek they always made me the thief. Like monkeys we played hide and seek on Barun's garden trees. On holidays marbles.Working as a labour----a veal---engagement at nineteen---marriage at twenty---wife's baby shower at twenty one---son when thirty two---daughter after ten months. Until I cried in fear of mother's scolding--till then, up to two or two thirty--they would exploit me surreptitiously. They were very wicked and tricky. They used to go back home only when they saw I was being beaten up by mother or I am standing in a corner in fer of mother hearing her making cooking sounds in kitchen.

Huh, where is the cycle and where this train. Yes, I have sailed in breeze, my hands are paining. Drizzle has started. I do not want to look at their faces. I am different--from Tarun and the other two guys I am somewhat different-- I have to prove. Without looking at them I can make out they are staring and talking about me. Both hands on handle. I lay backwards and whistle. This is really peaceful. I am learning about life. Quietly I might think about death. But what is the use of thinking about death. It would visit one day and take away my clothes. There is no hurry. Let me enjoy my feel-good space. But exam results keep on peeping. Both of them are going to Kolkata. They would ring up university to find out. The train will enter Sealdah station at five. Shit, whether they wag their tail or horns--I have nothing to do. What even if I get through in exam. I lick my fucking finger. Same shit thing. I do not understand how Tinu licks his finger.At this grown up age does that habit stays ? May be there is a good feeling. Pushing and pulling the finger in mouth--dripping saliva creates a satisfaction. During his grand fathers funeral he was practicing the habit while arranging for the funeral. Studies in eleventh class. What an idiot was he. Mitu, his elder sister is my maternal niece. No, I am confused---I am sort of a maternal uncle. At that time I have received admission paper for entering college. Though we resided within about six miles we met rarely. Her age was fourteen at that time. Quite buxom female attitude. Huh, remembering that period reminds me of mud-goddess. God knows from where she has found a  loafer dude ! At twenty eight years he is four son's Dad. Has developed a bit of bulge-- quirky fucker. I had gone after three years.

I remember during evening myself, Tinu and her grand father's son Swapan or Kamal, we were gossiping hanging our legs at the outside portico. Her grand father's son after a few words-- smiled at Mitu who was going to burn the lamp at the cow shed. He used to wear dhoti. His mother, my elder sister, is a serious Vaishnavite. At such a young age has lots of replica of gods arranged in her room. His father has been absconding for long. Sister has as a result tied herself with gods. Having handed over the daughter to a dude quite early became servant of gods. 

Who bothers ! Tinu's grand father's son said, he and Nitu, both have done something to Mitu at the cow shed--they asked me whether I was ready to participate. Mud-goddess is  praying with the evening lamp--- and smiling beautifully. She is eager to talk. The ten minutes past eight train has not yet gone. Why should I be absent because of night ? I can not, at last arrangement of nephew with niece. Tinu is only ten or eleven, Mitu is her own sister. Well, what is the use of these thoughts ? They have started learning about their body, moreover she is a girl and he is her mother's son, own brother. I visit the kitchen--- can not go away without informing. Sister is putting water in a pan. While climbing to kitchen I felt I saw Sister's dude hubby in the dark. They call me. I get angry. My God, Mitu is also here ! I thought I shall get away, that is why I went there. Mitu, I do want to spend the night here. But her mother looking at the mud-gods did not restrain me.

I left behind sister's rumbling, Mitu's veal stare, now what shall I tell mother. OK let Mitali cinema halls show end. Let ten minutes past eight train leave. I shall catch the ten thirty train. Walking, I went to the market. Past some time kicking at empty coconut shells. Then at the shore of Ichhamati river. Slept on the fishmarket bench, fishy smell. Sang a song on Ichhamati, then went to see whether Milani market is about to close. I might meet them. When we came we had gossiped a lot. I would take Binay with me and tell mother that we had gone to see a movie--- I have met them. One year passes looking at film star Uttamkumar's face. Crowd as if leaking. I feel nauseating. Laughable. All guys are coming out of their mother's door. So many men, so many sperms. I have read about it, the spermatozoa. Sperm is everything, parties of sperms. My sixteen years' sperm is me, born out of the dirtiest job of my Dad. I feel laughing. Where is the dirt ? My body gives me good relief, from wherever it has come, what is the use thinking.

Binay had explained everything.That is why I had stopped talking to him for many days. He had played mischief with me. When in ninth standard I did not look at the face of school Principal.  I did not believe---my godly Principal Mr Subodh---has got his black tummy bloated son and daughters with the same method. Banay took me to Kali temple to convince me--we are the same. This, this way, we were born. I told him mother does not play mischief with me like him. I have touched my mother's navel, the navel which seemed dug up. When mother applies oil to my hair, I have inquired on several occasions, looking at her navel, Mom, how was I born from your tummy ? There was no cut mark on her tummy. Mom said from her navel. If one goes to hospital you get brothers sisters, sons and daughters. Is it, if one goes to hospital, you get children ? Foul mouth Binay gave me a heavy slap, on my cheek, removing his hand from bald Shiva's black head. I could not see his making of faces at me. Falling, I hold the brick wall of Shiva's roofless portico. I get angry and apply a few fists on his chest. I was not able to win fighting with him. With muscled body he used to sit on my chest and choke my throat. I somehow manage to free myself--leave me--you study in seventh standard--- I would not talk to you. He holds more tightly and says---since you are in ninth standard do you think you know everything ? You need not talk, let us go to elder Dipak. If Dipak says that school Principal's children, me, you, and your siblings are all born out of their father's liquid--then I will give you three kicks. OK, I'll also give you seven kicks.

We both run to elder Dipak, he was taking bath at the pond. His mother, looking at our dusty post-fight faces was trying to delay asking questions. Binay and me, we were restless. We run toward the pond. But where is elder Dipak, after shouting his name, he comes out of the garden. Arranging his loincloth, he gets angry, you buggers have arrived here as well to disturb me--- what has happened, why were you howling like foxes ?

Elder Dipak is our hero, studies in college. Made of a different sharpness he is our locality's Big Brother. Looks handsome in bare body. Binay started---you would not beat us if we say something--- you have to answer correctly. Before elder Dipak starts talking-- I blurt out-- just as Kochi and Khoka had done in Kundu garden--- the reason for which we did not allow membership of our club to both of them. If Moms and Dads perform the same thing then children are born, is it a fact ? Binay is telling me you, myself, our Bhabesh teacher, everybody, we were born out of this method. My anger gets reduced after I embrace elder Dipak. Elder Dipak stares at me for a few moments--looks at Binay-- thereafter quickly goes down into the pond water, raising bubbles. Muddy water circles him-- wingless fishes run away directionless. In water up to his waist-- after finishing---while coming out treading on date palm trunk steps-- washes his feet on the bank. After coming up holds my hand. Says, come, you will go to standard ten after a few days. I say yes, and get my hand out of his clutch. Enters his room through the flower garden. Sits with knee up---takes out a book after removing layers of bed covers from his cot. Gives it to me--give it back after reading in a couple of days. When we were passing through the flower garden, he said, our parents do not know these, probably they do not know where do the mystery lies. You would know many things-- where are the real liquids, how, how to. Binay, you come here. Elder Dipak takes Binay with him to the garden.

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